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Teaching son to ride his bike

July 10th, 2006, 08:12 PM
My 5 year old has informed me that he wants to learn how to ride his bike - so far he has been riding just with the training wheels - but he told me yesterday he wants them off.

So today they came off - and we went accross the street to the school grounds to practice on the grass. We actually ended up practicing on the baseball diamond as its more gravelly and the bike rides on it easier than on the grass. He did ok but the balance and confidence isnt quite there - I try to let go for a second or two but he starts tipping pretty much right of way.

Does anyone remember teaching there kids to ride - how long did it take and how did you do it?

I remember my dad took me to the top of a hill and made me ride down I was about 5 or 6 ish and scared sh%$tless - ended up knocking my front teeth out and scraping myself up pretty bad. :eek: Still paying the dental bills for that one... anyways I want my kids experience to be safer and a bit less dramatic than that.

Also my other son that is 8 has no intererest in learning to ride - which I guess is fine. I thought it might get him more interested once his little brother wants to start - but he is just happy riding around with his training wheels on. Oh well I guess he will learn when he is ready. :)

jesse's mommy
July 10th, 2006, 08:17 PM
My poor dad ran up and down the sidewalk with me until I got it. I don't know how he did it, if I had to do it today I think I would die. After I finally got it, I couldn't stop so I would crash into the bushes. :o

July 10th, 2006, 08:18 PM
I still have a scar on my shin from when my older brother :evil: took off my training wheels, ran with my bike, and then let go. I rode it out until I ran into a fence. My problem was balancing and pedaling at the same time. I could do one or the other, but not both. I just had to overcome the fear.

July 10th, 2006, 08:31 PM
I went from two training wheels to one before going without. Also, raising it so that it only touches if you start to fall helps.

July 10th, 2006, 08:32 PM
I was pretty young when I started...of course, the way I ride now, I probably should still have the training wheels on.

Every kid is different. There's no "should take this long", in my opinion.

The best way to do it is to go to a park or field with a slight hill, and have them practice going down the hill. Not too big, just big enough so that the bike will roll without having to pedal. Also, on the grass, because when he does fall, it won't hurt (as much). Let him take a couple of runs without pedaling. One skill at a time.

Another alternative is a little longer, but you bend the training wheels up, so that if the bike is upright, the wheels don't touch the ground. Eventually, the wheels will never be used, only there as a mental crutch. At that point, you have to convince him to pedal once you take the wheels off (he still believe it's the wheels holding him up).

The biggest thing, though, is the way YOU act when trying to teach him. Don't coddle him (of course, you don't want to be a drill sargent, either). If he falls over, don't start running to him, asking him if he's okay, like he was just hunting with Dick Cheney or something. Most kids won't react until thier parents do. If you see the humour in it, chances are, he probably will to. Of course, if there's blood, a little concern would probably be acceptable (another reason for the grass). And if he only went a foot or two, make sure he knows he did a good job.

Lastly, make sure he puts his melon in a bucket (wears a helmet), and most importantly, HAVE FUN! (That goes for both of you!)

July 10th, 2006, 08:42 PM
Oh, and once he gets rid of the training wheels...,6610,s1-4-41-4911-1,00.html

July 10th, 2006, 09:36 PM
IIf he falls over, don't start running to him, asking him if he's okay, like he was just hunting with Dick Cheney or something.

Lastly, make sure he puts his melon in a bucket

ROFLMAO! Love the Cheney reference in this, and I always refer to my son's big giant head (anyone seen So I Married An Axe Murderer?) as his melon.

Thanks for the laugh!

July 10th, 2006, 10:08 PM
Thanks everyone - he is flat out refusing to put the training wheels back on. :D Very determined young fellow.

The hill idea is a good one too so he gets some momentum. We practiced downstairs too on the carpet - and he is practicing balancing too - he can actually do it for a few seconds.

Also it might help if I dont wear flip flops next time :D Duh

....I was also thinking of maybe waiting until he is 19 that way I dont have to bend over and kill my back while doing the running and pushing thing. :D

July 10th, 2006, 10:09 PM
um who is Dick Cheney?? :eek: :o

July 10th, 2006, 10:26 PM
I helped my oldest learn when he was 7. He practiced in the paved alley behind our house with me holding on the the rear & running with him. It took him about 3 days.
My daughter turned 9 last fall without really wanting to learn. This summer she has a friend who bike-rides so she is motivated & doesn`t want her friends to know she can`t (working in the alley again so noone can see). I can`t run with her so I kept the seat a little low so she can easily touch and has the confidence she won`t fall. This is the 3rd day (timely!). She got a little better each day, but was discouraged that she couldn`t just do it the first time. Today she finally managed to keep pedaling for a bit and is very pleased with herself. I`m pretty sure she`ll have it down in the next few days.
I think the most important thing is that the kid is ready & motivated to keep at it. I learned on my own, with a friend`s encouragment when I was 5 or 6, just keeping at it until I could stay up.

July 10th, 2006, 10:29 PM
um who is Dick Cheney?? :eek: :o

Current U.S. Vice President who just happened to accidentally shoot his hunting partner on a quail hunt.

July 10th, 2006, 10:37 PM
Pampha it makes me feel better to know I am not the only parent whose kids didnt learn to ride when they were 4.

My oldest is 8 now and has a friend that rides too - still he isnt to interested yet - but he is giving his brother lots of pointers and tips. :D

Sounds like your daughter is doing great - she will probably learn pretty soon as she determined and wants to - not you saying ok its time to learn to ride your bike now. :D

July 10th, 2006, 11:21 PM
Oh yeah, she is really motivated now & determined to try just a bit each day until she gets it. Previously I`d point out a younger child that could ride in hopes that it would make her want to, but she really didn`t care. I figured she would learn someday & wouldn`t let her brother tease her, but I`m happy she`s decided to go for it finally.
For me as a kid, bike-riding was freedom & I was amazed my kids didn`t want to learn younger. But I can`t do it anymore (health problems) & their dad won`t, plus the area I let my kids go unsupervised is so much smaller than the freedom I had, not so much my son now that he`s older, but still there wasn`t a great reason for either of them to learn to ride.

I did promise her a new bike when she learns, if she starts riding regularly. Now I need to get her brother moving & hunt up a lock so they can start riding to the donut shop in the morning :D

July 11th, 2006, 12:55 AM
ROFLMAO! Love the Cheney reference in this, and I always refer to my son's big giant head (anyone seen So I Married An Axe Murderer?) as his melon.

Thanks for the laugh!
(I remember that- in a bad scottish accent: look at that hiiid! it's yuge! hiiid) :D

My dad held my seat in a school parking lot. I didn't fall, but I went home and threw up all night (high anxiety kid). Back then in the early 80's we had huge seats that were easy to hold on to...

July 11th, 2006, 05:45 AM
My neighbour took one training wheel off first, and his daughter learned to ride in a day (took the second one off the next day and no one has been able to stop her since!)
My 5 year old son just learned to ride last month! We kept the training wheels on his new bike, but took them off his smaller old bike, and eventually he just started riding around on it in the back yard (grass), all by himself.
Every kid is different and learns different, so just let him learn on his own terms.